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The Complete SEO Link Building Checklist to Earn More and Better Link in 2024

SEO link building checklist
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After developing link-building strategies and techniques for my LinkedIn network and multiple clients, I have come up with a roadmap that is working for me right now. In fact, it works for local brands, e-commerce, Shopifyy businesses, and affiliate websites.

Hey, this complete SEO link building checklist covers all aspects of link building: editorial backlinks, link reclamation, guest blogging, and email outreach.

On top of that, you’ll discover advanced link building guides The Detailed Checklist Framework and the Industry Study Framework from Brian Dean.

Learn about the most effective outreach strategies that work like crazy. Hey, this is one of the most complete link-building checklists on the internet.

The good news is:

Everything on this checklist is working GREAT right now.

So, if you want to increase your organic ranking this year, you need this link-building checklist today.

Let’s dive in now.

Quick Links:

How to use this link building checklist

Hey, I’m Foster Senu.

I have used this exact checklist to acquire X number of backlinks to this blog post in 30 days.

With that said, there is no need to implement every strategy on this list, but do your best to take advantage of some of them. The more tips you implement, the better your chances of securing your competitive edge in organic search.

After reviewing this checklist, do your possible best to check out our study on ChatGPT vs. Bard.

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Link Building Tips to Keep You Motivated

Let me share with you my three nuggets that will make your link-building ride a breeze.

1. Start With Flexible Goals

To measure your success and track the progress of your link-building campaign, it’s common practice to set achievable goals, and this advanced link building guide won’t miss that.

However, when you’re a newbie, its okay not to set a clear goal since you’re now aiming at testing tools and ideas to see if link building is good for your business.

Once you have a better understanding, you can now set specific goals to measure the success of your campaign.

2. Use your existing network

Building high-quality backlinks from our connections is an obvious practice, but this is something even most experts fail to do.

Make a list of your connections that can offer you high-quality backlinks. Some of these could be:

  • Events
  • Your alumni network
  • Your software suppliers
  • Local companies and organizations

Manage expectations

Hey, link building is damn hard, especially if you are getting started from scratch. So my advice to you is to keep your head up. Also, remember, before you get started, make sure every member of your team is ready to embrace failure and learn from their experiences and your resources.

Basic Link Building Guide

Look, the most popular link-building strategies and tips fall into one of the three buckets.

1. Ask For Links

This is when you reach out to other website owners in your niche to link to your source.

You can ask them to link to your:

  • Ebook
  • Blog Post
  • Case study
  • In-depth Guide
  • Original Research and Data
  • Visual Assets ( Infographics )

And so much more.

You can use the Ahrefs tool to quickly search for prospects to reach out to.

2. Add Links

Adding a link is simply going to another website and adding your link to their site.

You can simply add your links to”

  • Business directory
  • Social media profile
  • Comapny pages
  • Blog commenting
  • Communities, forums Q&A sites (quora)

Take note: These links carry less weight.

Why?

Because they are like self-endorsements. They are not editorial (you didn’t ask for them), so Google and other search engines place less weight on them.

Now, let’s turn our attention to link earning.

3. Earn Links

When you earn links naturally, other websites link to your source without you asking them to do so.

And the best way to earn links naturally is to build content that people will be compelled to link to. When your content is very resourceful, people are triggered to link to it.

Discover some of the content people love to link to.

  • Visual assets (infographics, charts, diagrams, etc.)
  • Original research and data (industry studies, surveys)
  • Online tools and calculators
  • In-depth guides and tutorials

And many others. 

What Makes a Good Backlinks ?

Identifying good, low-quality, and bad backlinks is ideal for the success of your link-building campaign.

Simply put, the quality of the links you acquire impacts your overall ranking. With that said, these are the five qualities that link building experts, and these 40 thought leaders believe are worth building.

1. Authority

A backlink acquired from a more authoritative website carries more weight. Which means that it will help you rank higher in the Google search results. A good backlinks should always come from an authority website This is a signal to Google that your content is trustworthy and reliable.

For example, a link from the BBC is often regarded as more authoritative than a link from an unknown blogger.

To find the authority of any domain, you can use the SEMrush tool.

Input any domain and click Analyze.

Now is the time to scroll down and view the site’s authority.

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2. Relevance

When it comes to backlinks, the sites from which you’re acquiring your backlinks matter a lot.

Check this out!

You run an SEO firm and you’re striving to acquire links from health and wellness sites. Does this make any sense?

Not at all. You should be acquiring links from sites that are relevant to yours. No matter the authority of those health and wellness sites, their links won’t have any impact on your organic ranking.

The more relevant the link, the better your chances of ranking.

3. Placement

The position at which your link is placed matters in the eyes of Google. A quality backlink appears in the body of a page.

However, Google Patents gave a detailed explanation of link placement.

Based on the patent, links in sidebars and footers and low in a page’s content may not be worth as much as those higher in the body of a page.

Have a look at the link in the body of this post from Gaenzle Marketing.

Readers are more likely to engage with these links as compared to a link embedded in the footer or the sidebar.

4. Anchor Text

According to Yoast, an anchor text—or link text—is the visible, clickable text of a link. It usually appears in a different color than the surrounding text and is often underlined. Good link text is descriptive and tells the reader what to expect if they click on the link. Getting your anchor text right increases the chance of someone clicking on your link and helps search engines by giving them context.

Google often uses the text in the anchor to understand what the referenced page is all about so its a good practice to make it as descriptive as possible. From the screenshot below, you can tell what to expect when you click on the anchor text.

Nofollow vs Follow

Nofollow and Dofollow are two different types of links. Dofollow links can boost search engine ranking, while nofollow links can’t.

Let’s say I linked to the BBC website like this:

This is a dofollow link that can influence BBc’s search engine ranking.

But when you link to it this way:

It becomes a nofollow link, which does not pass any ranking signal to the site, BBC.

But does it mean nofollow links are useless?

Not really.

Benefits of Nofollow Link

Check out the three benefits of receiving nofollow links to your website.

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Referral Traffic

If you have nofollow backlinks from other websites, especially those with a large audience, they drive traffic to your site.

In fact, some popular brands, such as Forbes, only use nofollow backlinks but the impact of those links can be felt significantly due to the volume of their monthly traffic.

Exposure

Getting links pointing to authoritative sources increases your brand awareness. The good news is that some of the audience members of this brand will definitely go on to search for your brand in the Google search to discover your business.

Backlink Profile Diversity

Search engines love a mix of both dofollow and nofollow backlinks. When you’re only acquiring dofollow links, it signals to Google that you have manipulated your link-building campaign, which can negatively impact your organic ranking.

The Ultimate Link Building Guide

According to Siegemedia, businesses that incorporate link building into their business see a 47% success rate compared to businesses that don’t. To make sure your site has a chance to outperform its competitors, you need to have a link-building strategy that rocks your brand.

There are many backlink-building strategies but I’ll discuss four basic and three advanced link-building strategies here.

Basic Link Building Guide

This module covers the basic link building guide for newbiews

1. Try Link Reclamation

Link reclamation is the process of reclaiming unlinked brand mentions. If a website mentions you by name, they’re already familiar with your brand. So they are more likely to add a link.

You can simply use Google Alert to find your brand mentions on the web. If it appears in Google’s search engine results, you’ll get an email alert.

By now, I know you’re asking, How do I get a link reclamation email template? Well, I have you covered.

How? I have figured out a template that is proven to have an over 68% open rate when customized properly, according to the source, Siegemedia.

How to setup Google Alert to Monitor Your Brand Mentions

After visiting your Google Alert Page, input your brand name as shown below. In this case, let’s use Topsanker as the brand.

The next step is to hit the Create Alert button

Your alert has been set. Like any brand monitoring tools, you can edit or delete your alert as usual

2. Consider Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is the process of writing and publishing your blog on another site with the purpose of acquiring backlinks to your site. Its one of the basic link building guide that is well known by marketers at all levels.

Google has warned against guest posting but does that mean you should stay away from it? Of course not.

Here’s the truth: It all depends on your approach.

Its one of the most popular link-building strategies but there’s a negative side to it. If you keep guest posting on any available website that comes your way, you’re simply voilating Google’s guidelines.

The best way to do this is to partner with credible and relevant brands in your niche to guest post the way Google demands without violating Google link spam policy.

Here are some queries that you can use to find guest posting opportunities online.

  1. “KEYWORD” guest post
  2. “KEYWORD” guest author
  3. “KEYWORD” “write for me”
  4. “KEYWORD” “contribute to this site”

That is to say, if you want to find a guest posting opportunity for a yoga site,

You can simply use the first query:

“yoga” guest post

Want to start your guest blogging right away? This is a templete for you. It has been tried and tested by Siegemedia.

Guest Blogging Outreach Template

3. Leverage Infograhics

An infographic is a linkable asset that attracts backlinks naturally. Creating well-designed infographics is a guaranteed way to consistently secure quality links. To design an infographic backed by data and original industry research, you need to come up with infographic design ideas.

Simply put, engaging contents tend to acquire links naturally.

Outreach template with infographics

4. Build Editorial Links With HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

If you’re unfamiliar with HARO, it stands for Help a Reporter Out. its a cost-effective PR solution for business owners, bloggers and marketers to get featured in news outlets.

While they have a premium version, its free to use. HARO benefits both parties in the sense that brands get featured and acquire high authority backlinks from major publications while it serves as a medium for journalists to quickly get access to information without spending time on research research.

How Does HARO Works for Marketers?

HELP a Reporter Out provides marketers the opportunity to get featured in top rated publications without much effort. When you acquire links from this publications, it simply means that the journalist and the media outlet has endorsed you.

You’re seen as trusthworthy in your respective industry or niche. There are so many benefits of using HARO to build links to your website.

To start acquiring authority links through HARO, you first need to signup to the plaftorm.

In fact this video walks you through the steps needed to signup for HARO.

Key Takeaway : HARO sends email to registered sources on their platform 3 times a day. at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m., and 5:35 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Advanced Link Building Guide

This section covers some of the advanced link-building guide that you can use to land backlinks from high-domain-authority sites even without an outreach

The Detailed Checklist

This lesson was all about the Detailed Checklist Content Framework. In fact, I’m using it right now. With this advanced link building guide, the first step for you is to identify the main benefits of your checklist.

#Step 1. Identify The Main Benefits

Here’s where you figure out why your audience wants your checklist in the first place.

Is it to improve their proofreading skills, optimize their website, or expand their reach. Now, why do you need to know this and cover it on your checklist?

I’ll tell you right now.

For your checklist to stand out, your audience needs to know from the onset the benefits they’ll get from reading your post. You don’t want to waste their precious time.

#Step 2 Create Your Detailed Checklist Power Page

Now it’s time to create your Detailed Checklist Power Page.

🔴 Your Title

Your detailed checklist title should be super simple to understand. No fluff at all.

All you need to do is include:

  • The number of steps
  • The word “checklist”

For example: “The Complete SEO Link Building Checklist for 2024 ” or “The 20-Point Checklist For Funding Your Startup”.

🔴 Your Introduction

Your intro just needs to let people know that they’ve landed on a detailed checklist.
And that you’re going to show them how to achieve the benefit that you identified in step #1.


Here’s an example:
This is the most complete SEO link-building checklist on the internet.
The best part?

Everything on this list is working GREAT right now.
So if you want higher Google rankings, you’ll love today’s checklist.
Let’s dive right in…

🔴 Table of Content

You’re done working on your title and intro. Great job

Now, a table of contents is advised here.

Your content is going to be crazy long so adding a table of contents for your audience to jump to whatever section is important to them is necessary.

However, since this post was also set up using The Detailed Checklist Framework, you can see how I have the table of contents set up. This simple guide will walk you through.

🔴 Write Out Each Step

This is where you provide your audience with the tools, information, links, and resources that are needed for each step. This is how you make your checklist educational and informative.

🔴 Your Conclusion Section

Finally, it’s time for you to tell people to ask you questions since you’ve probably covered topics that are technical. All you need to do is remind them that you’re around for their questions and ready to help them if their stuck.

Crowdsourced Manual

You can see this from the conclusion of this post.

The crowdsourced manual is the process of collecting opinions and insights from experts on a specific topic.

And because you’re collection the opinion from many experts, your content will be highly utility = more shares and quality links

The crowdsourced manual can be used to acquire quality backlinks and get more content share but also ideal when you want to expand your exisiting network build more professional relationships.

With that said let’s get started right into it.

#Step 1. Find Your Crowdsourced Manual Topic

To find a suitable topic, you have to find something your experts can easily give their take on. For example, How it felt to start blogging = bad

On the other hand, give me one tip for more sales = Good

#Step 2. Create Your List of Experts

I’m certain you have successfully used the above tip to craft a topic for your crowdsource manual.

Applause. 👏🏽

However, its time to create your list of experts and here’s the catch, your network. Your network is certainly the best place to find these experts to contribute to your Crowdsourced Manual.

You can also use these seach strings to find industry experts that have already contributed atleast once in a guest post. “keyword” + “interview with” or “keyword” + “guest post by”

Question: How many experts should you invite?

With crowdsourced manual, the more expert you have on your list, the more valuable your content is perceived and the more traffic, shares and backlinks you’ll acquire. So don’t be afraid to invite 40+ experts.

#Step 3. Craft the Question for Your Experts

Use the topic you have unfold in step 1 to craft your question. Your question should be simple that it can be answered with 150 characters but your experts can decide to provide a very detailed response.

Example, Can you give me one tip for more sales? , If you could use three tools for social media marketing, what three tools would you use?

#Step 4. Contact Your Experts

Once you have pen down your question, its time to start sending them to the experts on your list.

Here’s a script from Brian Dean that you can use to execute this advanced link building guide:

But wait, let me share this pro tip with you. When reaching out to your experts, you want to be strategic with it. reach out to the bigger names on the list first.

And when they get back to you, leverage their authority to get more response from other less popular experts on your list.

Once you get the big dogs on the list, you can now use the PS below at the end of your email moving forward.

👉🏿 PS: We’ve already received responses from X, Y and Z. I’d love for you to be involved.

When your experts see that big name experts have contributed to the roundup, thy’re more likely to thumbs up. They’ll feel that if X,Y and Z are on the list, what am I waiting for?

#Step 5. Create and Publish Your Crowdsourced Manual

You’ve crushed it.

How you ask? You don’t get it. You’ve managed to collect the response from the well known experts in your industry.

Now, its time to turn what you’ve collected from your experts into your Crowdsourced Manual Content Framework. Yes, you heard me.

So, let’s get started.

Information

🔴 Creat Your Title

The 3 key elements that you need in your crowdsourced manual title are:

  • The number of experts involved
  • A description of who the experts are
  • And the topic the experts are covering

For the number of experts involved is super straightforward.

But what about the description of the experts? You can use words like “pro”, “experts”, “authority”.

For example, “50 content marketing pros”

For example. if you’re doing your crowdsourced manual with founders, you can write your title directly like this:

50 Founders Reveal the Challenges they Face in their Business

🔴 Write Your Intro

Quickly tap into this intro farmat:

  • Present the problem
  • State the question
  • Show the number of response you’ve received and their quality.

For example if the crowdsouce manaual is about the challenges faced by founders, you could possibly present the problem like this:

“Every year, businesses are being setup but within the first year, over 20% of these businesses fail while 50% fail within the next five years.”

Next, you want to present your question.

However, there are founders with insane abilities who make it pass failure. I have decided to gather 50 of them and ask them this question: What challenges do you face as a founder in your business?

Finally, you want to brag but don’t overdo it. And this is how:

“The response I have received from these pro-founders is inspiring. I have listed all of them right here for you to discover.

🔴 Add Your Response

Its time to add the response you have received from your experts.

Here’s exactly how to do it:.

  • Subheading with a quote of their response
  • A brief bio with links to their social media profiles
  • Their word-for-word response

🔴 Finish off with a Conclusion

You want your conclusion to be very simple. Tell your audience how amazing the advice from the expert is. Its time for your call to action, CTA.

Ask your audience their take on the question you’ve asked. This way, they are proud of it and feel like experts as well.

For example, your conclusion can be something like:

Congratulations for making it this far. “Wow! What an amazing collection of useful advice!
Now, I want to turn it over to you: What challenges do you also face in your business? Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.”

🔴 Notify Your Experts

As soon as you publish the post, you have to reach out to all the experts that were involved. When you reach out, use words like “we” and “our” to emphasise that the post was a group effort.

Here’s a word-for-word email script that you can use:


Subject: We are live NAME
Hey NAME,
Just a quick head up that our roundup post is live!
URL
Thanks again for your contribution. If you think your audience might find value in the post,
free to share it.
Thanks again,
NAME

🔴 Send reminders to the experts that didn’t contribute

After your post has received some shares and comments, reach out to the rest of the experts who couldn’t make it. They were either too busy to get back to you or didn’t know what the end product would be like.

Once they realize that the post is incredible, they’ll be eager to contribute, share, and link to it.

Subject: Quick heads-up
Hey NAME,
I know you didn’t have time to participate in the expert roundup I mentioned last week.
But I thought you might want to check it out: URL
Also, although the “deadline” for contributing has passed, I’d be more than happy to add
your response (and a link back to your site).
Either way, I hope you enjoy the post!
Thanks,
NAME

I get you.

I know that “The Crowdsource Manual Framework” is time intensive but its one of the best ways to expand your reach and acquire quality backlinks to your site.

The Industry Study

There are 3 main types of industry studies available that your can create:

  • Surveys
  • Case study
  • Original research

Step #1. Choose Your Format

As I have mentioned above, your industry study can simply be in a form of case study, survey or original research. There is no one size fit all. Just choose the one that is best for you and easy to execute.

But if you’re not a techie, you might want to avoid original research since it invloves a lot of data collection and data storage. In fact, this checklist woudn’t be complete without this advanced link building guide.

Step #2. Get Your Data

Whether you use the original research, case study or survey, I advise you to document everything from the begining to the end. In that case, you don’t have to go back and remember any step that you have forgotten.

Step #3. Publish Your Results

Publish your ducumented results

Let me break it down for you.

🔴 Write Your Intro

Hey, I’ll advise you to write an intro to describe the type of industry study that you have did including some of your key findings.

Here’s an example from my industry study conducted to know which Conversational AI platform produces the most unique content between ChatGPT and Bard.

🔴 Summarise Your Results

Nex, you should include a summary of your finding at the top of your page for it to hook people to read on. When your findings are very intresting journalist and blogger will definately link to you.

🔴 Outline and Describe Your Finding in to Detail

You want to go in to detail about your findings, Your audience need to know how you found those interesting data out and why they are important.

Also try as much as possible for your tone to be subjective when working on industry study.

🔴 Add Visuals to Your Study

You already know adding visuals to your content is important. Even though it makes your content compelling the main reason here is that people will embed your visual into their content and link back to you.

🔴 Write Your Conclusion

The last thing to cover in your industry study is your conclusion. Your conclusion to link to any neccessasy data that is available with a call to action to encourage your audience to share your study.

Final Thought

You’re finally here. Gratus!

I have covered a lot in this checklist. We discussed the basic link building guide and three of the advanced link building guide from Brian Dean. What strategy did you find most effective for your link building campaign? Leave a comment below.

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